Pike Fishing: Mastering the Float Ledger Rig

by | Published on: May 4, 2022 | Float Fishing | 0 comments

There’s a range of practical methods when it comes to catching pike. In this article, we’re looking at how to tie the float ledger rig – probably one of the most effective methods of catching pike. We will look at the components used, how to tie the rig and when it’s most effective.

Firstly, it’s important to mention that I use deadbaits on this rig and I fully recommend using them. I find that pike take deadbaits off the bottom more confidently than they do in the mid-water. I think it’s a more natural presentation. When a baitfish naturally dies, it sinks, and therefore a bait presented on the bottom is more realistic, in my opinion.

Of course, we could simply ledger on the bottom, but I prefer the early indication that you get from using a float. Adopting this method lets you know immediately that a fish has picked up the bait, even before they move off with it. It also reduces the chance of deep hooking the fish.

For This Rig You Will Need:

  • Strong braided mainline
  • Float stop
  • Beads
  • A pencil float (attached at the bottom)
  • A 2oz lead
  • Trace

How It Works

Use a float (such as a pencil float) attached at the bottom. Attaching the mainline via the bottom allows you to sink the line between the rod tip and the float. This will prevent the slack line from forming an arc in response to surface drift, which reduces the responsiveness of the rig.

I use a ledger weight that I know will sink the float. Then, I make a series of casts, moving the float stop up the line gradually each cast, until the float appears just above the surface of the water. Finally, sink the line and place the rod in the rest. The diagram below shows how the rig should sit in the water.

When a fish picks up the bait, you’ll see the float move slightly. As the fish moves off with the bait, the float will connect with the float stop and slowly drift away or submerge entirely.

How the float ledger rig sits in the water

How to Tie the Float Ledger Rig – Step by Step

Step 1

Add a float stop.

Step 2

Add your pike float (you may need to add a bead first, depending on the eye of the float).

Step 3

Add a bead.

Step 4

Add a ledger weight.

Step 5

Add another bead.

Step 6

Add a wire trace.

Note: I use a strong braided mainline for this style of pike fishing (55lb breaking strain).

Note: I recommend a trace that has size 6 semi-barbed hooks.

Best Baits for the Float Ledger Rig

A range of deadbaits work well on the float ledger rig; both coarse fish and sea fish. Some of my favourites include:

Coarse and game fish

  • Roach
  • Trout

Sea fish

  • Smelt
  • Mackerel
  • Sardine
  • Herring

When hooking deadbaits for pike, we assume the bait will be taken headfirst. For this reason, it’s best to face the hook points towards the tail of the deadbait.

Optimal Conditions

The float ledger rig is most effective in lakes and rivers with a moderate depth, up to around 15ft. It becomes a little unmanageable in very deep water.


Ledgering and float fishing are both very effective pike fishing techniques in their own right. The relatively simple approach provided gives you the best of both worlds! I absolutely love pike fishing, float ledger rig use has revolutionised my fishing and given me an additional approach to try out when the pike aren’t biting. Good luck out there and tight lines!